Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says continued sanctions against Russia are "unavoidable" and that it will take "patience and perseverance" to end the crisis in Ukraine.
Speaking to Parliament on Wednesday, Merkel said "nothing excuses or justifies Russia's annexation of Crimea and nothing excuses Russia's direct or indirect involvement in the fighting in Donetsk and Lugansk."
She said the possibility of a cease-fire in east Ukraine remains far removed, "and therefore economic sanctions remain unavoidable and show that in our efforts to get through the crisis we will need patience and perseverance."
Merkel has spoken regularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the crisis began, and recently met with him at length at the Group of 20 summit in Australia.
Following that meeting, she accused Russia of undermining peace across Europe.
- Russia expresses concern for Julian Assange's health
- WADA's decision to impose sanctions on Russian sports politicized — Cuban president
- Russia banned from 2020 Olympics, world championships by World Anti-Doping Agency
- Cutting Russia off from SWIFT would mean declaration of war – Russian PM
- ‘No evidence of govt involvement’ in Berlin incident, Russian Embassy says after diplomats expelled